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07/18/08 9:25 PM ET

Dumatrait's rehab moving slowly

Pittsburgh left-hander dealing with shoulder issues

DENVER -- Pirates starter Phil Dumatrait is having a slower rehab process than anticipated. Though he's eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday, Dumatrait will not make it back that quickly.

"He's not throwing, from what I understand," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said before Friday's game against Colorado. "He still had some discomfort. He played a little catch on Sunday. He'll go to Florida and rehab down there, get the inflammation out of the shoulder and start in on a throwing program."

Dumatrait is on his second DL stint of the season, having gone down in June with rotator cuff tendinitis. The current diagnosis apparently is more benign -- a case of an "achy" left shoulder -- and Russell agreed with Dumatrait's own assessment that though still troublesome, this episode is not as severe as his previous ailment.

Dumatrait has been one of the few consistent starters for the Pirates this season, making 11 starts since joining the rotation in May. The southpaw turned 27 during his current DL trip, and he is experiencing his first extended season in the Major Leagues after a six-game callup with the Reds last August and early September.

He started the 2008 season in the Bucs bullpen, posting a 3.92 ERA in 20 2/3 innings over 10 appearances before making the shift to the rotation on May 2. Dumatrait came on strong as a starter, going 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA in six starts in May, but he had cooled off since, going 3-3 with a 5.74 ERA though his 11 starts.

Russell initially expected a quicker return for Dumatrait, but given the lingering discomfort, it probably will take a little longer for Dumatrait to get back up to speed.

"Once he gets going, it could be two rehab starts instead of one," Russell said. "We'll see how long it takes to where he feels good. We're not thinking it's going to take too long, because the discomfort wasn't like the first time. He should get out of there quicker. But we'll see how he progresses."

Dumatrait went five innings or longer in eight of his 11 starts. He was back from his rotator tendinitis DL trip long enough to make one start, on July 7, but he lasted only 3 1/3 innings while yielding seven runs on nine hits and two walks.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.